Really Bad English and Really Good Chinese

Herrrrrrrrrrrro from the promised land of Taiwan!!

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Taiwan countryside with the mountains in the background! This area is SahnHua! My area stretches from the west coast in Cigu which has the ocean, all the way out to ShanShang which has the mountains! We think our area is the biggest in the mission, it takes like 3 hours to bike all the way across!!

Well as always this week was another crazy one!

It started off by us going as a district to this fun center kind of place for last P-Day, and we competed as two different teams in a bunch of different activities! Batting cages, bowling, darts, those basketball shooting arcade games, and this insane air hockey with literally 30 pucks at once! Like the pucks automatically drop in, so it’s crazy!

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My District on P-Day

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Super fun pitching game

So I went on my first exchange this week! I went down to Guiren with Elder Graves and had a ton of fun doing the work there! We had this super awesome miracle that happened there! So we were biking around looking for a place to eat lunch, and as we were biking this dude came up to us on a scooter and asked if we were “Houchi Shengtu Jiaohui” or the latter day saint church. We were like… uhhh yeah! And he said he was a member and that he wanted to buy us lunch. We asked where the best place to eat was, and he said “MaiDongLao” or McDonalds lol. So in Taiwan McDonalds is not the same as America… like it’s a super upscale place here, like $150 kuai for a meal, when you can go to any other restaurant and get lunch/dinner for $50-70 kuai. So the dude took us to MaiDongLao and dropped a stack on us, and we just sat and talked with him! It turns out he was a less active member, but went to church for 17 years!! So we set up a time to meet with him again and talk about stuff. Super cool dude! Funny thing is that when he was ordering he wanted to order us number 4s, which is pronounced “Si”, but his accent was so thick that when he ordered it sounded like he said “Shi” or number 10. So we ended up getting something random hahaha.

One thing that is super lame in Taiwan is that the people here give the LAMEST excuses. We had 5 people confirmed to come to church Sunday, but because it was RAINING outside, every single one of them bailed on us. It happens all the time here. Luckily one of our LAs showed up and brought her friend, so we ended up having an investigator there after all! The funny thing is that the LA’s friend, who’s English name is Tina, asked if we were “JiaRen” which direct translated means “fake people”, but they use it as the word “model”. She thought we were super Shuai and white hahaha.

So to get to the title of the email! My Chinese has gotten to a point that when I contact people at stoplights while they are on their scooters, and I’m on my bike, I can speak pretty well, and basically have a conversation with them. It’s funny because when Chinese people see a white dude speaking Chinese, literally their minds are blown, and all they can say is how good your Chinese is! Even though my Chinese sucks at this point, it’s really fun to try and get better! Also the English here is AWFUL! Not even the peoples’ English… that is non-existent… like they can’t speak it at all its 100% Chinese here, but the signs on buildings and stuff! Like literally, they pretty much stick what they want to say into Google translate and make a sign with whatever pops out! The English makes no sense at all the majority of the time hahaha! So this week my favorite sign is below in the picture! “Suck that food aftertaste again”

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Awesome English signs that make no sense, hahahahahaha!

While we were teaching a lesson this week to this dude in his house, which almost never happens… most of our lessons are taught in 7/11s here… but anyways, we were teaching this dude and he just had this MASSIVE cockroach just chilling on his floor the whole time, like the thing was the size of my fist. But he didn’t do anything about it!! LIKE WHAT. GO KILL THAT THING DUDE. We asked him at the end of the lesson if he was going to kill it, and he said NO ITS MY PET. WHATTTTTTTTTTT ARREEEEEEEE YOUUUUUU DOINGGGGG DUDE. So gross. Our apartment is infested with them, so I’ve grown to hate them even more than I already did.

A miracle that happened this week that was super cool! So Elder Nelson and I were riding our bikes to Xin1Shi4, one of our areas, and we have to go through this tunnel to get there. As I was going through the tunnel, there is a point where you have to turn left and it’s like a blind corner. Well there has never been anyone in that tunnel before, so I just whipped around the corner. As I turned, there was this dude and a girl on his scooter coming right at me. I somehow within literally a millisecond managed to slam the back brake, and as I did that the back of my bike fishtailed out and I drifted into the scooter instead of hitting it head on. Nobody was hurt, and we left the scene perfectly ok. I Know that the Lord protected me there.

OK, so as glamorous as the missionary life might seem through my emails, it really isn’t at all. I never write about the times throughout the week that make up like 99% of my time here. Like for example… it’s been pouring all week because it’s the start of typhoon season here, and we had to go tracting a couple of nights ago. We tracted and knocked doors for 2 hours in the pouring rain at night, and not one person was willing to hear our message about Jesus Christ. We got countless doors slammed in our faces and countless “Im FoJiao” or Buddhist, so I don’t want to listens. It really is hard work, but it’s a labor of love. I know how much the gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed my life, and I know how much it can bless everybody else’s lives as well, and that’s why I do all of this. Even though 99% of the people don’t want to even listen, we’re looking for that 1% that knows how this gospel can bless their lives. Being a missionary is awesome, and I love it!

I hope you all had great weeks, and I challenge you all to go out and do something kind for someone random this week! I know that through service, we can bless our lives as well as the lives of others! It doesn’t even have to be big, but something small can change someone’s day completely!

Expect miracles!

Love,

Elder Stroud

 

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